Some couples facing divorce know exactly what to expect. They have already signed either a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, so the terms for splitting up their belongings and debts have long since been resolved. The only uncertainty in their divorce proceeding might be the actual date that the court sets for the hearing to finalize the process.
The same is true for those who file uncontested divorces because they resolve all outstanding issues in mediation, arbitration or another form of alternative dispute resolution. For everyone else, divorce comes with a lot of uncertainties.
In a litigated or contested divorce, it will be the judge who makes decisions about how to split up your property. What are the rules about property division in a South Carolina divorce?
The goal in a South Carolina divorce is fairness
The courts will seek a fair way to split your property acquired during marriage when you file for divorce. Although some assets, like an inheritance, are the separate property of one spouse, most of what you acquire, purchase or earn while married is subject to division. Even accounts and property held in only one name can be split up during divorce proceedings.
Under the equitable distribution statute, a judge should try to create a solution that is fair. A review of the family circumstances helps establish what that looks like. How long the marriage lasted, the contributions of both spouses, the earning potential of each spouse and the standard of living during the marriage will all play a role in what the judge views as appropriate and fair.
Careful planning and proper presentation of your circumstances by an experienced attorney can help you secure a better outcome than what just fighting blindly with your spouse would produce.